“Il Centro”, Restaurant in Priocca
The soul and the smile of the restaurant
Enrico is the historical memory of Il Centro, the embodiment of the maître in the finest sense of the word. The friendliness and simplicity with which he greets diners and presents the menu orally is one of the pearls of the restaurant. Enrico conveys experience, passion and professionalism in his constant quest to satisfy his guests, their satisfaction being the ultimate gratification. Il Centro is his life: he grew up here, watching his grandmother Lidia and mother Rita and taking part in the activities between the dining room and the kitchen from an early age.
I remember making coffee when I was seven. I used to climb on a stool because I was too small to reach the counter.
He left school at the age of 18, after the death of his father Pietro, to take over the management of the restaurant. A venture fraught with challenges and sacrifices, but always fuelled by a burning passion. Thanks to his ability to keep up with the times and adapt to changing conditions without ever losing sight of his roots, Enrico succeeded in putting his own new mark on the restaurant. At the beginning of the Eighties he began touring the wineries to taste their wines and get to know the producers, establishing a remarkably successful synergy with them. Thanks to constant investments in the cellar, which he now oversees together with his son Giampiero, Il Centro soon become renowned for its outstanding wine list, which boasts the most prestigious labels.
Food speaks the language of emotions
Elide’s adventure at Il Centro began by chance: she arrived at the restaurant in 1983 and, encouraged by Rita who had sensed her incredible talent, soon took over the reins of the kitchen. She left her previous job at a well-known local clothing firm and began cultivating her passion for the culinary arts, teaching herself the necessary skills.
Things were hard and exhausting at the beginning, but Elide’s love for the business grew day by day, as she followed the tracks of tradition and drew on the sentiment of its roots. Having grown up with home cooking, Elide tried to communicate the influence of her mother Francesca and Rita, revisiting the dishes in an understated way, taking great care to clearly preserve all the flavours of the ingredients used. Elide promotes traditional food, always inspired by practicality and authenticity: she seeks out simple, genuine flavours, refined and harmonised by the choice of light cooking techniques and balanced executions.
Her “passion for perfection” means that her cuisine is a project in constant evolution, inspiring her to pursue research and innovation day after day.
The future is created one day at a time
Growing up amidst the flavours and knowledge of the dining room and the kitchen, Giampiero soon developed an intense passion for the world of wine. After graduating in Oenology in Alba, he acquired extensive experience in the wine and catering sector, initially with local wineries and producers and then honing his gastronomic and oenological expertise in international contexts.
Upon returning to Italy, he decided to concentrate all his time on the family business, specialising in sourcing and selecting exclusive labels, focusing on the Langhe and Roero and the most important wine regions throughout the world. The wine list, for which he is personally responsible, is one of the jewels in the restaurant’s crown, now featuring hundreds of references of rare excellence, the result of passionate and incessant research.
Getting up and going, reaching out to make your dreams come true...
Priocca had been her whole world for years. The place where she had learned to love life and cultivate her greatest passions: writing and philosophy.
Having grown up alongside Elide and Enrico, surrounded by good food and fine wine, she was intoxicated by countless aromas from an early age and began asking herself increasingly important questions about the meaning of life. Despite her love of catering, she decided to enrol in the Faculty of Philosophy at Turin University, where she graduated in 2010.
She has written for the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, Il Sole24Ore, the online newspaper 2duerighe.com and Filosofico.net.
She has lived in New York since 2010, where she works as a journalist and editorial assistant, contributing to several publications for which she concentrates mainly on culture, art and current affairs. In 2014 she attained a Master’s degree in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In recent years she has specialised in business journalism, ancient philology and news.